Target Fraud Alert May Impact Up To 40 Million Customers Nationwide

Thursday, December 19th 2013, 8:04 pm
By: News On 6

If you're a shopper at Target, you could be one of roughly 40 million customers who may have had their credit or debit card information stolen.

Anyone who swiped their card Nov. 27-Dec. 15 may be affected.

Target said an outside investigator is looking into the breach and the U.S. Secret Service also is on the case.

They said the problem is now fixed and it is safe to pay a their stores with plastic.

The Better Business Bureau said there are certain steps you should start taking if you shopped at Target during that two-week window.

But it also said this is just the start of a whole new set of scams coming over the new few weeks.

"I've got to tell you that I'm in this exact same boat, because I shopped at Target in that two-week window," Tulsa Better Business Bureau President and CEO Rick Brinkley said.

Although customers shouldn't be held liable for charges, shoppers should now be on the lookout for upcoming emails from scam artists.

"[Scammers will be] appearing to be coming from Target, saying, ‘We need to verify your information,' and then you'll click on a link that looks like it's coming from Target but it's not," Brinkley said.

He suggests aggressively checking your bank statements.

"Don't wait for it to come in the mail, get online and see if any charges come through," he said.

While a fraudulent credit card transaction can be removed, a debit card transaction means the money is already withdrawn from your checking account.

The security breach at Target is far from the largest in history. In the early 2000s, the owner of TJ Maxx had information stolen from nearly 47 million credit cards, and in 2011, nearly 100 million online gamers had their information put at risk thorugh Sony's Playstation network."

Although some Target shoppers were only using cash today to be safe, Sarah Evans wasn't deterred from using her credit card because she's had her information stolen before.

"Visa was on top of things, and I didn't end up losing any money," she said.

But Brinkley said caution still should be your pilot.

"Sadly with something as big as 40 million people become very aware of it, but you need to be aware of it every single day," he said.

The Better Business Bureau is also suggesting that shoppers who used their cards at Pizza Hut or Starbucks counters inside Target stores should check their accounts as well.

Target has set up a hotline for victims. That number is 866-852-8680.